Boston High School: Mark Etherington

Recap: No. 6 Cathedral 10, No. 8 Prep 2

February, 15, 2014
Feb 15
10:15
PM ET
WILMINGTON, Mass. -- This one was way too easy.

Following Springfield Cathedral's 10-2 dismantling of St. John's Prep Saturday at Ristuccia Memorial Arena, two things were learned. First and foremost, the sixth-ranked Panthers, a lock for Super 8 berth, have to be considered a legitimate threat for the state's most-esteemed high school hockey title. Secondly, whatever thread of hope the eight-rated Eagles had in securing an invite to the Super 8, are history. In fact, for a team on the verge of missing the postseason completely, this was hardly a performance to write home about.

Junior center Peter Crinella scored four goals and Devan Tongue, an eighth-grader, contributed three to lead Cathedral (13-2-4).

Leading by a goal after one period, the Panthers found the back of the net four times in the middle frame to run away with it.

"St. John's is obviously in desperation mode for a playoff," said Cathedral head coach Brian Foley. "They’re big and physical and came out hard. Coming out for the second period we hoped our speed and skill would take over as the game wore on. We've got some guys who can put some pucks into the net. The three lines we've settled in on just keep getting better and better. I think we are starting to gel at the right time."

The Panthers led 2-1 heading into the first intermission, as Crinella's power play redirect score at 12:58, as it turned out, put them ahead to stay.

Cathedral gained control during the middle period. Crinella bagged another at 6:27 with a short side wrist shot past freshman goaltender Zach Laramie. Two minutes later, Tongue got into the act after taking a clean pass from Johnny Leonard and finishing it off with a nifty back hand goal stick side, making it 4-1. Only 13 seconds later, D.J. Petruzzelli added to the Panthers' lead after sniping a 25-foot blast, thus extending the margin to four goals.

"St. John's is a very good team," Foley said. "As far as I'm concerned they're still a Super 8 caliber team. They can compete with anybody so coming into this game, this was big for us. Overall, I thought we got a complete team effort from everybody today."

At 10:12, freshman Dan Petrick managed to strip the puck away from new goaltender Brian Conry's catching glove and slip it into the net, giving the Panthers a commanding 6-1 advantage after 30 minutes.

Cathedral's offensive onslaught continued into the third period. An odd-man rush with Petrick and Tongue was finished with Tongue slipping a shot into the back of the net at 5:56. The Panthers weren't through. Petruzzelli, standing just outside the Prep goal crease, added his second tally, pushing the puck past Conry's reach. Less than a minute later, Crinella, conceivably the best player in the state, recorded his fourth marker on the afternoon after burying a hard wrist shot that Conry never saw. Tongue attained his first hat trick as a Panther moments later after stealing a pass inside the Eagles defensive zone and rifling a shot past Conry (3 saves), making it a 10-1 contest before Prep senior Zach Pearce managed a score in the game's final minute.

"We started moving the puck, especially in that second period and were getting some good shots on net," Tongue said. "For me, I just tried to get pucks on the net as best I could and fortunately some were able to bounce through. Our team chemistry is a lot better than at the start of the year. It is really showing and hopefully that will get us to the Super 8."

At the outset, Crinella (team-high 24 goals) wasted no time in getting the Panthers on the board. Just 2:02 in, the Holy Cross commit ripped a shot from just outside the left circle that sailed past Laramie.

Despite recent victories over Austin Prep and Arlington Catholic, Prep still had its back firmly are against the wall in its quest for a postseason bid. Late in the first, the Eagles (7-9-2) stormed back. Nick Latham, as part of a 2-on-1 break with Mark Etherington, beat freshman goalie Keith Petruzzelli (20 saves) to tie things at 1-1.

However, just moments following the score, Prep was whistled for a questionable too many men on the ice infraction. As a result, it would lead to Crinella's go-ahead score late in the frame.

"(The officials) really had no explanation for that call," said puzzled Eagles head coach Kristian Hanson, whose club sits four points out of securing a Division 1 North playoff spot, and must now win its final two contests in order to qualify. "Our captain was out on the ice asking one of the referees regarding the circles and the other ref turns and calls us for too many men on the ice. I don't understand it.

"Was it the difference in this game? Probably not. But it certainly changed the complexion at that time because we had just scored to tie it. Obviously we got a little rattled after that and so did my goalie. We tried to compete today but we just weren't getting it. It was a bad match up for us. Now it is up to us to step up and play a better game on Wednesday (versus Winchester) and on Friday (versus Wakefield) to get into the playoffs. Hypothetically the tournament has already started for us starting this week."

Recap: No. 8 Prep 4, No. 12 St. John's (S) 4

February, 13, 2014
Feb 13
1:21
AM ET
WILMINGTON, Mass. – After 45 minutes of sizzling hockey, St. John's Prep and St. John's of Shrewsbury skated off the Ristuccia Arena ice nonplussed about a 4-4 tie.

Prep showed chutzpah, battling back against four one-goal deficits to escape with a much-needed point in its quest to make the state tournament.

“I thought for the most part we controlled the time of possession,” Prep coach Kristian Hanson said. “I think we outshot them by a pretty wide margin, but none of that matters. The scoreboard is what matters. In a way in the end you feel fortunate to get a point out of it because I felt we were constantly trailing tonight and the puck wasn't bouncing our way. It's an important point for us; it keeps us in the running.”

The Pioneers broke the ice early when Garrett Lehan scooped up his own rebound and scored 48 seconds into the game. The Pioneers played consistently strong hockey across the board. Despite being outshot 37-19, nine different players reached the score sheet for the Pioneers.

“You hope you can play three lines, you have depth,” SJS coach Michael Mead said. “As long as every line contributes that's a good thing.”

While the Pioneers rolled deep offensively, the Eagles rolled as their first line rolled and the line of Mark Etherington, Jim Currier, and Nick Latham steamrolled. The trio combined for 10 of Prep's 11 points.

Latham shined brightest, scoring a pair of goals and assisting on the other two. His exuberance showed bright after his second, Prep's third, goal when we skated to the Prep student section and climbed the glass to cheer with them.

“I can't make anything happen without my linemates to back me up,” Latham said. “They're awesome. They see the ice so well. You don't even know if they're going to get it to you and it winds up on your stick. We just have pretty good chemistry out there.”

Currier also had a four-point night, with a goal and three assists. Etherington had a pair of assists.

SJS suffered a massive blow in the third period when senior captain Bryan Nelson received a game misconduct penalty for a hit-to-the-head penalty. Prep's Ryan Byrne scored on the ensuing four-minute power play.

“Brian's our captain, he's our leader,” Mead said. “To lose him for the rest of the game it effects you, but the guys bent but didn't break. That's a life lesson for Brian; that's a lesson we learn going towards playoffs. Hopefully it won't happen again.”

PICTURE PERFECT PIZZERI: It's rare for a goalie to give up four goals and still be one of the game's biggest stars, but St. John's (S) goaltender Mario Pizzeri kept the Pioneers' heads above water.

Pizzeri looked spectacular several times, but it was his expert positioning that kept those situations few and far between. The best example of that came in the third period when a Prep defenseman fired a shot from the point that Pizzeri never saw but still went right into his glove.

“Mario kept us in the game,” Mead said. “Mario's been our rock all season long. He keeps us in every game. If he sees the puck he's going to stop it.”

For the bulk of the game Pizzeri kept the puck and did not give up bad rebounds.

“He makes all the first saves,” Latham said. “We capitalized on our rebound goals; that's how we got them in. He's a real good goaltender. He stood on his head.”

THE DASH BEGINS: While neither team picked up two points both picked up a massive point in their run to March. Now sitting 7-8-2 (16 points) the Eagles need four points over their last three games to qualify for the state tournament. That helps lessen the pressure a bit for Prep as it means the Eagles could go pointless for a game and still qualify.

With a new cast of characters leading the way, Hanson said it's a new era with a new team and they'll write their own legacy.

“It's an entirely new group of kids this year from what we've had the past three years so it's their team and their year,” Hanson said. “They've certainly felt the stress frequently, at one point being three games below .500. It's stressful. You don't want to be the team that doesn't make the tournament.

“I feel like our tournament started last week with Austin [Prep] and since then we're 2-0-1. Keep that type of play up.”

For the Pioneers, the tie puts them at 9-4-5 (23 points) with four games to go and keeps them in the running for a spot in the Super 8 tournament. Either way, the Pioneers will play hockey in March, it's just a matter of if its’ in Division 1 or 1A.

“It's important to play well,” Mead said. “Our goal this season was to have more points than last year and we've accomplished that goal. Control what we can control. Super 8, if we can get in is great. If we can't we can't.”


WILMINGTON, Mass. – It’s not about the finish, it’s about the start. Right?

No. 1 BC High took control of Saturday’s Catholic Conference clash with No. 9 St. John’s Prep from the get-go, scoring first little more than a minute in and running to a 2-0 advantage by the 5-minute mark.

Behind a pair of goals from senior captain Steve DeForge, BC High held on for a 4-2 win over Prep in the annual Derek Hines Memorial Game.

“It’s an honor to play in this game for Derek Hines and his family,” DeForge said. “We’ve been fortunate enough to be a part of it. When we come up here, we want to play for them as well, especially in my four years of coming up here, we’d never gotten a point.”

With the victory, BC High (8-0-2, 3-0-1 Catholic) has now earned a point in each of its first 10 games on the season.

Junior center Tim Larocque had BC High running out of the gate with a rebound putback of a Connor Noonan shot at 1:28. DeForge then followed with his first at 3:15, a power-play goal with assists from Ryan Shea and Sam Topham.

“It was a good win off the faceoff and the puck went back to Sam [Topham],” DeForge said, “he dished it back to me down low, passed it back to him and he gave a good D-to-D to [Ryan Shea]. He had a good line to me and I just put it home.”

However, St. John’s Prep (4-5-1, 0-4-1) got on the board just about a half-minute later with Jimmy Currier being the beneficiary of some slick transition play from Evan Leclerc and Nick Latham.

It remained a 1-goal game at the intermission, but BC High started the second period with fury as well. DeForge tallied his second, from Chris LaLiberte, just 40 seconds into the second.

“We just put ourselves in a hole all day by giving up, I think in the second period, another goal within the first minute,” Prep head coach Kristian Hanson said. “In the third period, [there was] a goal in the first minute. Unfortunately, we just couldn’t put a full game together – a lot of that credit goes to BC High.”

Yet, Prep was able to counter quickly again. Less than two minutes elapsed following DeForge’s second tally before Prep again cut the difference to a single goal. Latham earned his second point of the game with a power-play goal at 2:04, with Mark Etherington providing the assist.

But, according to script, BC High held serve, scoring for the third straight period in the first minute with Jake Lemanski potting his sixth goal of the season 59 seconds in.

Prep had a golden opportunity to claw closer once again, with 1:27 of 5-on-3 power-play around the 5-minute mark of the third. BC High’s defense tightened around goaltender Brandon Payzant (16 saves), allowing one shot-on-goal in the duration of the 2-man advantage.

“Now, you get out of there and you still have a two-goal lead,” BC High head coach John Flaherty said, “there was still a lot of time left on the clock, but you could have been tied or down at the end of a 5-on-3 like that.”

Honoring a hero: The true driving force behind Saturday’s matchup was the Lt. Derek Hines Soldiers Assistance Fund. The game marked the sixth year Prep has honored its fallen graduate, who was killed in action in Afghanistan in 2005, while deployed with the Army’s 173rd Airborne Division.

Hines, who was a standout in his time with Prep hockey, graduated to the U.S. Military Academy, where he served as a graduate assistant with the hockey team while completing Ranger and Airborne school.

In his memory, the Assistance Fund was presented with a $6,500 donation, a $2,500 increase over last year’s gift.

Saturday marked the first time in BC High’s seniors’ time playing in the game that they emerged victorious, having lost in the three previous years.

St. John's Prep is 4-2-0 in the six years of the Hines game.

Midway point: With its 10th game in the books, BC High reached the halfway marker of its season.

The Eagles hold the No. 1 ranking in our statewide Top 25 poll and they’ve only dropped points to conference rival Xaverian and Rhode Island power Bishop Hendricken in a pair of ties.

Even with its resume to date, BC High is an essential shoo-in for the Super 8 tournament, but Flaherty isn’t about to look any further down the line.

“With our schedule, we can’t look at what we’ve accomplished, we have to look at what’s ahead of us.”

Recap: No. 8 CM 2, No. 9 St. John's Prep 1

January, 12, 2014
Jan 12
1:40
AM ET
WILMINGTON, Mass. – Catholic Memorial and St. John's Prep were both in search of their first marquee win yesterday at Ristuccia Arena.

The Knights got it.

After an entertaining, back-and-forth affair, No. 8 CM escaped with a 2-1 win in the Knights’ Catholic Conference opener.

“We started off pretty slow,” CM's Mike Stathopolous said. “We kind of settled down between the first and second periods and then came into the second doing stuff with the system and kind of got after it.”

Stathopolous had a solid game that culminated when he fed sophomore Paul Hardiman, who buried it in the top corner above the should of Prep goalie Brian Conroy, early in the third to put CM ahead for good.

Before CM (6-1-0, 1-0-0) was able to score the go-ahead goal, it had to stave off the Prep attack that ambushed them in the first period. Prep outshot CM 12-2 in the first period and was able to solve Brandon Collett when Mark Etherington slid behind the CM defense and scored on a pass from Jim Currier with 10 seconds remaining in the period.

“They just jumped all over us, took the play away from us,” CM coach Bill Hanson said. “They won the battles along the wall and we just said settled down. Our goaltender kept us in the game, he was terrific.”

The Knights' offense shook off the bus legs in the second period and flipped the script on Prep. CM outshot the Eagles 10-5 in the second and every offensive line had quality scoring chances. None was better than Bill Czar tipping a shot into the top corner midway through the period to tie the game.

Collett buckled down in net for the Knights and finished the game with 27 saves.

“We had to grind it out and get the win,” Collett said. “That's how it's going to be all year.”

Prep (3-4-1, 0-3-1) had plenty of chances in the third period, the Eagles put 11 shots on goal, but they were unable to tie the game.

St. John's head coach Kristian Hanson gave credit to Collett in goal but also said that his team had to be more direct offensively.

“The guys just have to crash the net more, get some garbage goals, and play dirty,” Hanson said. “When I say dirty I mean go to the net, get in the dirty areas that no one wants to stand in. That's how you score goals. A lot of the stuff we're trying to do is too cute out there. It just doesn't work.”

MR. 600: Saturday's win was a historic one for Bill Hanson as it was his 600th win at the helm of the Knights. After all the years and all the wins, Hanson said he'd lost track.

“I had no idea,” Hanson said. “I knew it would be sometime this year, but I didn't know when.”

Hanson's teams have won 17 Super 8 titles and he's coached more than two dozen NHL draft picks. Even with the victories and accolades, Hanson said he was proud to achieve the goal with this year's Knights.

“The fact that I don't keep track of it tells you a lot,” Hanson said. “It couldn't have been with a greater group of kids too. You saw that game, they're a fun group to watch.”

EMPTY BOX: Catholic Conference rivalries run deep so it was quite a surprise that not a single penalty was called during yesterday's game. Apart from one or two moments in the third period there wasn't even a non-call that angered the fans.

Both coaches gave credit to their teams playing hockey within the rules.

“They let us play, but the kids to their credit, [at] the whistle stopped,” Bill Hanson said. “No one yaps. No high sticks … just real good disciplined teams.”

“I'd rather play every game without penalties,” Kristian Hanson said. “The refs did a good job today. It was a clean game anyways. I think we made their job easy.”

Stathopolous said that it was a pleasant difference to having a flowing game on the ice.

“The refs did a great job letting us play,” Stathopolous said. “There were some things that could have been called, but if you want to play a team you want to play them five-on-five. It was a good game.”

Recap: Central Catholic 5, St. John's Prep 3

January, 5, 2014
Jan 5
1:16
AM ET
WILMINGTON, Mass. – For the first forty-three minutes and fifty-three seconds, Central Catholic never led St. John's Prep.

For the final 1:07, they did not trail.

The Raiders surrendered the first two goals, but Alex Lester batted home a puck in the waning moments to propel Central to a 5-3 win. Lester added an empty netter with two seconds left to seal the win.

Lester's linemate, Lloyd Hayes, facilitated much of Central's offense with three assists, including the initial shot that led to Lester's game-winner.

“We're always talking about team depth and chemistry, and usually [goaltender Colin] Soucy's our backbone out,” Raiders head coach Mike Jankowski said. “Today they found a way past him a lot easier than usual. The kids answered the call. They stuck up, they came to bat for them.”

After a quiet opening 10 minutes the Eagles made their move. Mark Etherington tipped home an Ean Mendeszoon shot to put Prep on the board. He followed that up 17 seconds later by burying a pass from Jim Currier in front past Colin Soucy to put the Eagles up 2-0. Prep was only able to put seven more shots on net after Etherington's goals.

St. John's Prep assistant coach Jeff Tache said that he was pleased with Etherington's performance but that the team as a whole has to do better defensively.

“I thought he played a great game,” Tache said of Etherington. “He hustles all the time and that's all you can ask for.

“I thought it was a good overall effort. Defensive breakdowns late in periods is what cost us this effort. Again, they worked hard and probably deserved a point out of this. Hopefully we can just move forward and learn from these mistakes.”

After Prep's goals Central took over. The Raiders outshot the Eagles, 27-10, and were able to outskate and outmuscle the Eagles as the game wore on. Eric Robbins put the Raiders on the board, putting home a pass from Richie Greenberg with 1:15 left in the first period.

The teams traded goals in the early portion of the second period and Prep goalie Zach Laramie kept the Eagles ahead. The freshman turned aside nine of the 10 shots he faced during the second period. St. John's locked down on special teams as well, especially during a 71-second 5-on-3 penalty kill.

Central tied the game at three five minutes into the third when Sean Holly threw a lazy wrist shot at Laramie that the goalie misjudged and skipped over his glove to tie the game. Hayes' pass opened up Holly for his goal.

“He's been fantastic all season long,” Jankowski said of Hayes. “He's been there not only [with] points but with positional play, physicality. He's doing just a great job for us.”

Soucy turned aside seven shots and added the secondary assist on Lester's empty netter.

“He always talks about it,” Lester said with a laugh. “He likes to think he gets assists so for him to finally get one is pretty cool.”

GROWN-UP RIVALRY: Central-Andover may be the traditional rivalry, but the annual game with St. John's Prep has become one of the biggest games on Central's calendar as the team has risen the past six years.

Dating back to the 2007-2008 season, the teams have played 10 times with St. John's holding a slim 5-4-1 advantage.

Lester and Soucy both said that St. John's is easily among their top rivals.

“It's always a big rivalry and we just want to keep it going,” Lester said. “We've had some big wins now and we just want to keep it rolling.”

“St. John's has always been our rivals,” Soucy said. “They got us in Super 8 last year and we wanted to come and show that last year was last year and this is our new team this year. It was a big win for us.”

With the annual regular season game usually played between Christmas and mid-January, it's a good measuring stick for both teams that have Super 8 aspirations each and every season.

“It does set a tone for us moving forward about where we sit and a good barometer for us,” Jankowski said. “We want to compete against the best.”

Recap: No. 3 BC High 5, No. 9 St. John's Prep 2

December, 27, 2013
12/27/13
1:50
AM ET
BOSTON -- Senior Steve DeForge and junior Jake Lemanski each scored twice for the host BC High Eagles as John Flaherty’s team dispatched St. John’s Prep, 5-2, Thursday, in the Catholic Conference opener for both teams.

“It’s the first Catholic Conference game, so it’s big to get out of the gate with a win, especially against a very good team like St. John’s Prep.” said Flaherty. “They’ve got some big guys who can move, skate and move the puck so we’re happy with the two points,” added the coach.

With a team that has so many young players contributing big minutes it is important for the upperclassmen to play well. That’s what happened on Thursday afternoon, according to Flaherty.

“Leadership. [Steve DeForge and Jake Lemanski] are leaders of this team,” he said."Both of them step up when the game is on the line. Both of them are good puck shooters and that is what I expect of those two kids."

Flaherty continued, "DeForge is a captain and a senior. Jake is just a natural leader. He’s just one of those kids. He’s a junior, but he’s on point with his talking in the locker room."

It was a sloppy first period that saw the foes trade two goals each. DeForge scored his first goal of the night on the power play just 3:23 into the game on a laser of a wrist shot.

“I got the puck at the top of the point, just ripped it on net and hoped for the best. We had some traffic in front so luckily it went in. I didn’t know it went in at first,” said DeForge.

St. John’s answered back with two goals to take a 2-1 lead. Junior Teddy McNamara scored on a nice snap shot where he used the defenseman as a screen. The shot deflected off the defender’s stick and went high over BC High sophomore goaltender Brandon Payzant.

Mark Etherington took advantage of a scramble in front of the BC High goal that allowed him to pick up the puck between the circles and backhand one past Payzant for St. John’s only lead of the night.

Lemanski scored both of his two goals in the second frame when BC High was really able to take over control of the game. Junior center Patrick Kramer won the draw back to Lemanski who quickly roofed one past St. John’s netminder Anthony Selvitella.

“We’ve been practicing that play a lot. Pat was able to win it and get the puck back to me. I just wanted to get it off quick and get it through. Fortunately it did,” said Lemanski.

His second goal, with just seven seconds to play in the middle period, was created by some passing at the point and then patience by the Scituate native. Billy Roche fed the puck to fellow blue liner Trevor Davis who slid the puck down low to a waiting Lemanski who let the goaltender go down before lifting one short side.

“Roche walked the point and gave it to Trevor Davis, and I tried to get open to the side of the net. Trevor gave it to me, and I got it up as quick as possible. It was able to sneak by [Selvitella],” said Lemanski.

DeForge added an insurance tally in the third period as he flew down the left side before unleashing a wicked wrister that pegged the corner of the net before falling in.

Payzant, a sophomore, stopped 19 of 21 shots in his fourth career start. The two goals he gave up, the first of his high school career, were certainly not his fault.

“Neither of the goals were his fault. I wouldn’t expect him to have either of those, and he settled in and made the saves he’s supposed to make. That’s what he’s done all year for us,” said Flaherty of his first-year starting goaltender.

Payzant, a Somerville native, made several key stops in the second period with the score still close.

“That was huge. Those were big saves that allowed us to keep them from knocking on the door. We had some breakdowns, and Brandon was there to make those saves,” said Flaherty.

Notes: Merrimack head coach Mark Dennehy and Boston University assistant coach Steve Greely were among the half dozen or so college coaches and scouts in attendance for the matinee game on the campus of UMass-Boston. … BC High looks to keep its undefeated record in tact Saturday night at Weymouth while St. John’s pays a visit to Woburn the same night. … BC High and St. John’s Prep will play their second game against each other on Jan. 18 in the Derek Hines Memorial Game at Ristuccia Arena in Wilmington. Hines is a former captain at St. John’s who went on to play hockey at Army before tragically losing his life in the War on Terror in Afghanistan.

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